Recovering missing data after database erasure. Help!


I just tried to post a message but it seems not to have gone through. Sorry for the double post if it did go through.

Because of a syncing problem with iDisk (MobileMe) I accidentally erased my DTPO database. However, I discovered the metadata for each file has been preserved in the cache (Library->cache->metadata->devonthink pro->database name). So, I would like to ask for help with two questions:

  1. is it possible to import this metadata into a new database?

  2. is it possible that the rtf files I stored in my old database currently reside somewhere on my hard disk or iDisk in some subfolder?

Many thanks for your help!


  1. No. The metadata cache file you discovered is only an index of contents provided to Spotlight so that the database is searchable by Spotlight. It is not a database, nor could a database be constructed from it.

  2. Not that I’m aware of, although I’ll cross my fingers for you that something shows up on iDisk.

Comment: Although my databases are very stable, I’m a stickler for backups external to the computer on which I work. I use Time Machine for backups. I also use and recommend the procedure found in DTPro/DT Pro Office Scripts menu, Scripts > Export > Backup Archive. Whenever I’ve invested significant time and effort modifying a database, whether by addition of lots of new content, reorganization or writing, at a convenient break time I invoke Backup Archive. When I return from break useful maintenance has been done on the database (Verify & Repair and Backup & Optimize), and I’ve got current internal and external backups. That archive produced by Backup Archive is the smallest possible compressed and dated backup file for the database. If you want to use MobilMe iDisk to hold a backup, that Backup Archive file is the one I would recommend, as it is much smaller than your database package file and so will synch between the local and online iDisk more quickly.

A number of people have complained about glitches in Apple’s introduction of MobilMe. Apple will doubtless sort out the introduction problems pretty quickly. But as a “belt & suspenders” personality, I maintain the attitude that such problems are always possible, whether resulting from server failures, Internet congestion or a solar flare storm. Always protect yourself, which is to say, always have a backup that’s under your control. Redundancy is good. I use Time Machine, too. That Backup Archive file also protects me from failure or theft of the Time Machine hard drive.